Douai is the first town Puławy established partnership cooperation with. It is situated by the river Scarpe in the historical French province Flanders, stretching along the North Sea coast. This region had been considered the greatest economic centre as far back as in the medieval times.
Presently Douai, situated by the international route leading from Brussels to Paris, is an industrial town where both chemical and automotive companies function and develop. During the first world war Douai was occupied by the German Army but the town did not suffer much destruction. But at the end of the second world war, a bombing on August 1944 destroyed a part of the town around the station and the buildings of the university founded in 1560 by King Philippe II of Spain, buildings which housed the library and the museum. Fortunately, most of the collections had been hidden and are now being exhibited in the rebuilt in post-war years library and in the old Carthusian monastery (XVIth-XVIIth c.), now being the museum. Today the town can pride itself on the marvellously restored monuments which are its hallmark, among them the Gothic Belfry from the XIVth century, the XVIIIth century Church of St Peter, the Palace of Justice, and the Town Hall.
It shall be added that Douai is situated in one of the most numerous Polish descent people agglomeration. Polish people settling in Douai was connected with the opportunity to find a job in the nearby mines and was largely connected with the semiwar period. Presently Poles inhabiting the town constitute an active national group. „Polonia – Douai” - a folk dance group established by them is the hallmark of the town, the local authorities are proud of the group as its fame exceeds the borders of the region. It is due to local Polish origin inhabitants that Puławy is the twin town of Douai, the effect of this cooperation being the cultural exchange, economic cooperation as well as scientific and job apprenticeships.
Puławy Town Council adopted a resolution establishing cooperation with Douai on March 14th 1996. The resolution's basis was the Letter of Intent signed by the Mayor of Douai and Puławy (December 12th 1995). This cooperation is most productive in the culture domain. First correspondence contacts with Douai were undertaken in September 1990. Their aim was to commence economic cooperation which resulted in inviting the manufacturers from the Puławy region to Douai for the exhibition (the cost of renting the stalks and surface management was undertaken by the Trade-Industry Chamber in Lille). In 1992 direct contacts were drawn between „Polonia” Association from Douai and Dancing and Singing Group from Puławy.
Since that time cooperation has also been established with the Photographers Club in Douai. Photographers from Puławy take part in exhibitions organized in Douai every year. The year 1992 is considered as the beginning of the cooperation between Puławy and Douai. The year 1993 was the first year of youth group exchange (the Corot Lycee in Douai and Puławy High School of Prince A.J. Czartoryski). The authorities of Douai founded apprenticeships for the municipal greenery worker and a group of students of the Professional Medical Study. Puławy welcomed members of the philharmonic society orchestra from Douai with a series of concerts. In 2004, in the first days of May, Polish Days were organized in Douai. Delegation from Puławy was invited to take part in the festivities. Twinning ceremony of both towns took place in the Douai town hall, accompanied by numerous Polish concerts and spectacles.